Napa, CA Seeks Public Artists for Plaza Redesign and Artwork

Napa, CA Seeks Public Artists for Plaza Redesign and Artwork


 Unknown, California, Unknown

The City of Napa invites artists or artist teams with experience in creative placemaking to submit qualifications for the conceptualization and creation of public art as part of the Dwight H. Murray Plaza (“the Plaza”) improvement project. Constructed in 1974, the Plaza is currently an underused civic space in downtown Napa. With the intensification of retail development in the immediate area, the City has initiated plans to redefine and reactivate the Plaza, one of the most visible places in the downtown area and a traditional gathering place for community events.

The revised design for the Plaza includes leveling the Plaza’s surface, new paving and additional seating, the inclusion of shade trees, improved pedestrian flow along Brown Street, walkway improvements, and an at-grade “bubbler” fountain in the center of the Plaza. The selected artist/team may influence various aspects of the Plaza’s design, including materials selection and placement, landscaping, patterns and materials for the walkway medallions and the circular pathways around the fountain area, or stand-alone sculptural elements that create an interesting and iconic identity for the Plaza.

The goals of the art project are to:

  1. Integrate art into the final design of the Plaza to activate and enliven the physical appearance of the Plaza and increase public use and experience of the space.
  2. Within the context of the Plaza’s size, provide unique, innovative, and distinctive art elements that become significant place-makers and help distinguish the Plaza as a community asset and landmark.
  3. Increase and enrich the aesthetic relationship between the Plaza, Brown Street and First Street.
  4. Commission high quality artworks that contribute to Napa’s public art collection. 
  5. The conceptual proposal could include, but is not required to include, subtle elements or aspects within the art that refer to the life accomplishments and humanitarian vision of Dr. Dwight H. Murray, Sr. MD, for whom the Plaza is named.

Eligibility and Qualifications

This RFQ is open to professional artists residing in the United States who meet the following minimum qualifications:

1. Prior participation on an architectural design team or experience in conceptualizing the design and placement of art in a public environment similar in scale and complexity to this project.

2. Experience in creative placemaking, as evidence by past bodies of work.

3. Ability to take a holistic approach to the Plaza’s design, taking into consideration its current and future design features, public access, and location in the downtown area.

4. Experience in the design and fabrication of artwork, functional art, design elements, or public amenities intended for permanent placement in an outdoor environment.

5. The ability to procure, administer and oversee the work of subconsultants such as artists, fabricators, art installers and other professionals in disciplines appropriate to this project.

6. Ability to design artwork that can withstand public access and is resistant to vandalism, climbing, graffiti, etc.

7. Technical competence related to artwork materials, maintenance, installation methods, and other proficiencies related to the design and placement of exterior artwork.

If submitting as a team:

1. One member of the team must be identified as the lead member who will enter into a professional services agreement with the City for the concept proposal and, if the team is selected, for procuring and overseeing the final design, fabrication, delivery and installation of the artwork. The team leader must have demonstrated experience in the categories described Section B. 1-7 above.

2. The team leader will be responsible for the work of the team in its entirety.

3. All applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

4. Applicants must be able to work within an expedited project schedule. The project design plans are completed. Construction of the Plaza will begin in December 2016 and will be completed by Spring 2017.

Project Budgets

Conceptual Design Proposal Fee: After the three finalists are selected to prepare a Proposal, an artist/team will be identified as the selected artist/team. The two finalists who are not chosen as the selected artist for the project will receive a stipend of $5,000 upon completion of the selection process. This stipend shall be given to cover all costs associated with the Proposal. The selected artist will be asked to present their conceptual proposal to the City Council at a subsequent meeting. Because the selected artist will not receive a $5,000 stipend, any previous labor, time, and travel expenses to Napa will need to be added into their overall project budget.

Project Budget: The budget for the final design, engineering, fabrication, delivery and installation of the selected artwork, and for all other project costs, including but not limited to artist design and management fees; insurance; subconsultants, contractors, and fabricators; applicable taxes; travel; and all other expenses associated with the project, is a not-to-exceed amount of $200,000.

Review and Selection Processes

A selection panel established by the City Manager will review qualifying submissions and will select up to 3 artists or artist teams who will be invited to prepare proposals for the Plaza.  Review criteria include:

  • Experience in participating on design teams or in conceptualizing the design and placement of art and/or functional amenities in a public environment similar in scale and complexity to this project.
  • The aesthetic quality of the artist/team’s past art and design work, including creativity, uniqueness, and success at contextual place making.
  • Experience in determining art project scopes and budgets.
  • Experience in designing and producing artwork appropriate for long-term placement in an outdoor environment with heavy public use and access.
  • Experience and success in managing projects from design through installation.
  • References.

Three finalists will be selected.  The City will issue a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) to each finalist. Finalists will be required to submit a preliminary proposal to City staff in late October 2016. The preliminary Proposal must illustrate and describe the concepts being developed by the artist/team, including the scale, materials, location and function of the proposed artwork.  The Selection Panel will review the Proposals and will recommend one artist/team’s proposal for implementation in whole or in part.

Project Timeline

This schedule may be subject to change, and selected artist/teams must be able to maintain a flexible schedule.

  • Applications Due: June 24, 2016
  • Selection of Finalists: July 2016
  • Project Orientation July 2016
  • Staff Pre-reviews Proposals: October 2016
  • Proposals submitted to Panel: October/November 2016
  • City Council Review/Approval of Selected Artist Proposal: November 15, 2016
  • Target Artwork Installation Date: Spring 2017

Submission Requirements

All submissions will be made through the online Call for Entry (CaFÉ) web site at under City of Napa, Dwight Murray Plaza Project.  There is no fee to apply, but applicants must set up a free artist user account at CaFE.  

Before applying, please review the full RFQ located here.